Group, others demand N105b compensation over 2011 post-election violence

After-The-Election-The-UnitiveThe Registered Trustees of Jama’a Foundation and five others have dragged the Federal Government to ECOWAS Court of Justice, demanding over N105 billion as compensation for the death of 800 people and displacement of 60,000 others in the violence that followed the 2011 presidential election.

In the suit, the Foundation and the other plaintiffs are asking the court to declare that the failure of the defendants, their agents or privies to protect the lives and properties of the victims in the course of the 2011 presidential election violated their rights as provided for in the relevant treaties and convention to which Nigeria is a party.

According to the Information Officer at the ECOWAS Court, Sunny Ugoh, the organisation is contending that the deaths, destruction and displacement which affected some of its members constituted a sustained violation of their right to life, human dignity, equal protection under the law, and other economic and social rights of the applicants and other members of their community.

“The plaintiffs are also asking the court to direct the defendants to implement the recommendations of the Sheikh Lemu Investigative Panel set up by the Nigerian government in the wake of the post-election violence as it affects them,” Ugoh said.

Counsel to the respondents urged the court to hear its preliminary objection in which it is, among others, contesting the locus standi of the plaintiffs before entertaining their prayers.

Justice Chijioke Nwoke who presided over the case suspended ruling on the preliminary objection and said that the court will take both the preliminary objection and substance of the matter together in accordance with Article (5) of the Rules of the Court.

On the application to call witnesses, the court granted leave to the plaintiffs to call their witnesses to appear before the court at the next hearing date. Hearing was adjourned to September 24. The court also adjourned until 12th October, at the instance of the plaintiffs, another case relating to the Nigerian civil war and involving Vincent Agu and 19 others against the Federal Republic of Nigeria and five others in order to give the parties the opportunity to conclude an ongoing settlement.

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